Brian Byrd is a professor in the Environmental Health Sciences program, College of Health and Human Sciences, Western Carolina University. He received a bachelor’s degree (Biology) from the University of North Carolina at Asheville, a master’s of science in Public Health Parasitology and his doctorate (PhD) from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana. During his studies at Tulane, he was a pre‐doctoral fellow in a CDC funded training program in vector‐borne infectious diseases.
Currently, Byrd teaches courses such as Principles of Epidemiology, Medical Entomology, First Year Studies: Virus Hunters (Learning Community), and Global Health. His research focuses on domestic mosquito‐borne diseases, specifically La Crosse encephalitis, the ecology of invasive mosquitoes and ticks, and the molecular identification of arthropod vectors. He also maintains an active undergraduate research program where his students have been nationally recognized. He has authored or co‐authored peer reviewed manuscripts in discipline related journals and is an active member of a number of professional organizations including the Society for Vector Ecology and the American Mosquito Control Association. He serves on the editorial board for the Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association. Byrd is also a member of the American College of Epidemiology.
Areas of Expertise (3)
Tulane University: Ph.D., Parasitology/Medical Entomology
Tulane University: MSPH, Tropical Medicine/Parasitology
University of North Carolina at Asheville: B.A., Biology
- American Mosquito Control Association
- Society for Vector Ecology
- Mid-Atlantic Mosquito Control Association
- North Carolina Mosquito and Vector Control Association
Media Appearances (8)
Colorado seeing higher levels of West Nile infections earlier than normal, with 36 confirmed cases
Greeley Tribune online
According to Brian Byrd, a professor of environmental health sciences at Western Carolina University and SciLine scientist, the highest risk of infection comes from older mosquitoes — as opposed to recently hatched insects. After the adult mosquito bites an infected bird, the virus incubates for five to 10 days in the insect’s body before it can transmit the virus.
Dr. Brian Byrd: Mosquitoes, diseases, and control strategies
Sciline AAAS online
Dr. Brian Byrd is a professor of environmental health sciences at Western Carolina University. He discussed topics including: the lifecycles of mosquitoes and when and why they interact with humans; the different diseases mosquitoes can transmit between people; how human intervention and climate change alters where mosquitoes live and what diseases humans are exposed to; precautions individuals can take to protect themselves from mosquitos; and large-scale control strategies that communities can undertake to control mosquito populations.
Weather IQ: How weather affects mosquitoes
WCNC Charlotte online
WCNC Charlotte got some help from Dr. Brian Byrd from Western Carolina University to find out how weather affects mosquitoes to help us raise our Weather IQ.
WCU gets financial boost to continue La Crosse encephalitis research
Western Carolina University got a big financial boost to continue its research into La Crosse encephalitis.
Researchers Discuss How Climate Change Impacts Health in Rural Mountain Communities
The Appalachian Voice online
Western Carolina University Environmental Health Professor Brian Byrd discussed the importance of preparing for an increase in vector-borne diseases in rural and mountain areas, especially diseases spread by mosquitoes and ticks. “The challenge is not to overestimate risk and not to minimize risk,” Byrd says. “I’m not trying to fear-monger about this mosquito-borne disease. It’s very rare but it is something, if we can empower people to know a little more about it, there’s a good chance they can do something to reduce their own risk.”
Stanford and Illinois researchers publish genomic evidence of ancient Muwekma Ohlone connection
Stanford News online
The Tribe brought in the Far Western Anthropological Research Group, with archaeology principal investigator Brian F. Byrd, to direct the archaeological excavations, analysis and reporting as a collaborative endeavor with the Tribe, and University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign anthropology Professor Ripan Malhi to design a genomic project on any remains identified there. Researchers from Stanford University also joined the collaboration to analyze the genomic data.
Telling the biters apart: WCU lab helps researcher with mosquito project
Smoky Mountain News online
“We are happy to help Anders as he develops this important surveillance tool,” says Brian Byrd, an environmental health sciences professor at WCU and supervisor of WCU’s Mosquito and Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Facility. “We also understand the impacts of invasive mosquitoes, as there are two invasive Aedes species here in Western North Carolina that are known to transmit La Crosse virus — our most common mosquito-borne disease in North Carolina.”
Western Carolina Zika expert Byrd says, 'I'd go to Rio'
Citizen Times online
“The short answer is yes,” said Brian Byrd, an associate professor of environmental health who has been advising health officials from local agencies and all the way up to North Carolina’s top public health experts about the virus. “Infection with Zika is preventable, and travel, especially abroad, is always associated with risks,” he said. “Motor vehicle crashes are the No. 1 killer of healthy U.S. citizens abroad.
Event Appearances (1)
2022 Annual Conference of Virginia Mosquito Control Association Newport News Marriott at City Center
Before the Pandemic Ends: Making Sure This Never Happens AgainWCSA Journal